A morbid title, but i promise u happy instigative musings. Am not a subject matter expert, hence write this with well intentioned naivety that hopefully shall instigate a few rich thoughts and conversations.
The rise of digital media is bringing back a few old wise-ways back from the dead…especially with respect to ways of ancient India.
My musings about a few of these:
(1) vaadam x prativaadam = taatparyam. Argument x counter-argument = residual truth/understanding/refined knowledge = wisdom. Old gurukul education was based on these priciples…sadly lost in the modern education system championed by rote learning. Google has empowered students with ability to search for both arguments and counter arguments and hence restore to some extent the old wise ways. Yes social discovery of arguments has its own perils. Perils of consuming information which has bias embedded into it…but socialization of argument is a good embedded police to negate such biases.
Check this link for a biz opportunity on the same:
“Why digital is the devil for teachers –http://bit.ly/1Ht5XeR ”
(2) leaving the horrors and human-tyranny imposed by caste system aside for a little. There was once a wonderful eco-system of knowledge. There were the divine knowledge brahmins, the objective (outside society) brahmins and the social brahmins. Let me elucidate: divine knowledge brahmins had spiritual wisdom to impart (the ghora tapasvi – rishis and maha munis), then there were the objective brahmins (the snyasis who would shun materialism and existed outside society, but interacted and objectively studied society), the social brahmins were the karnams, pujaris, the doctors, the vastu experts, the marriage brokers and most importantly teachers. These used to be part of society and interact with society as fellow citizens and hence had a materialistic perspective of life and all its errors and opportunities.
Housed in the gurukuls, outside a community…but connected and dependant on it…these gurukuls used to host the spirtual leaders, the objectivity leaders and the social leaders…imagine how information and perspectives used to merge and jam and evolve for the benefit of the society. Knowledge from different perspectives used to merge and was able to guide living and life better.
Rightly the stranglehold that brahmins had on knowledge was destroyed and liberated…but this eco-system of exchange was lost too.
The relegation of Brahmin caste helped democratise knowledge, but we also lost this wonderful eco system. Imagine innovators connected to real society, administrative policies impacted by pragmatism of everyday life, lifestyle insights going directly into pharma industry and all embedded with social accountability due to this wonderful Eco system.
Last implemented by the vijayanagara empire (ashtha diggajas +)…this eco-system now is finding its way back into society. Whether in a minor way via TED talks and the likes or otherwise. Digital media is connecting the spirtualists, the PHD people, the social brahmins of the new age (by social brahmins…i do not mean caste but anybody who is doing a knowledge based job).
Divorced off the tyrannical caste system, I hope this Eco system rejuvenates itself, aided aptly by digital media.
Wish the Indian govt starts a village of this kind in Himachal or somewhere and broadcasts such jam sessions for public consumption and as inputs for governance.
(3) Naaniyon ke nuskhe (Grand mothers’ simple solutions): The industrialisation phenomenon changed social and filial structures. While an agrarian life needed many hands and joint family systems…the post-industrialization era does not need such a structure.
With the change in filial structure, there was a lobotomy of wisdom of life, due to the divorce of the old from the so called “immediate family”. Naniyon ke nuskhe were dying for one section of the society (predominantly urban section).
Capitalism found business opportunity in this knwoledge-divorce, and increased a nuclear family unit’s everyday dependence on an external advisor (with money as a core component to erstwhile insticutual advice).
Digital has democraticsed this and now naniyon ke nuskhe are back – especially in the social space.
With India growing young, the grey of wisdom will command a premium…there’s an amazing biz opportunity to start a platform where the experts of life for a minimum fee can actually dispense lil pragmatic bytes of wisdom.
These are just 3 examples that I am musing about now…but there are several more I am mulling over and am sure you have several you can point out as well.
What do you think…lemme know! Lets muse together…